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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Nov 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

It's All Relative--50 WNC women write about family

Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld             If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family.           …See More
Nov 6

Archive of Features

Writer's home spaces

In a new book, NC authors provide insights into their home offices and inspirations, accompanied by beautiful photos.  Read about it.  Attend Nov. 6 event.

Ron Rash's new novel

Above the Waterfall weds a contemporary thriller with a portrayal of people tapping an ancient way of being.  Read about book, read interview with author, see about Sept. 8 event.

Melungeon heritage speaker

Rhonda Gunter spoke at Bakersville courthouse, Aug. 17 about Melungeon studies. See about subject 

Finding a great book a new way

Bestseller lists; book reviews; publisher promos; readers' votes--are you missing great books with these access methods?  Here's another approach. Read the feature.

Gothic, Blixen Gothic, & Southern Gothic

The Gothic mode takes many forms over eras. For Southern Gothic, see special author event at City Lights, Aug. 8.  Read article.

Pam Durban's psychology

Pam Durban's fifth book, "Soon," gives us stories of great note.  Read about it.

David Payne's fearless memoir

Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story is a memoir, and is classic David Payne, author of five novels, including Ruin Creek.  It delves deeply into every question; and Payne's both a Holmesian detective of the psyche; and a Watson-like person, clueless about himself.  Read review.

Adam Johnson's imagination & research

Adam Johnson, author of prize-winning The Orphan Master's Son, has a new, memorable book of stories, Fortune Smiles.  Read review, author interview, and about Sept. 4 event.

Patchett interview

The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival opened to the public with great authors and programs, Sept. 11 and 12.  See revealing interview with Ann Patchett, author of "Bel Canto" and other notable books.

Us v. Them--not good history

Read about Southern heritage, the fight against racism, and the way a person-by=person approach to history helps.

Revolution Writer

Joe Eply, writer of "A Passel of Hate," talks about American Revolution.  See his blog.

Painting detail fr: Backwater Men by Richard Luce.

Psalms to clouds & clods

Robert Morgan's 15th volume of poetry, and 27th book, creates artworks that link the momentary with the mystical, rural and cosmic, deformity and beauty, and drag harrows and MRIs. Read review.

Fall of house of Coleman

The razing of the Coleman house at the head of Montford in 1979 was an alarum for preservation efforts in Asheville.  Read more.

The Serafina phenomenon

Robert Beatty's YA fantasy novel, "Serafina and the Black Cloak," about a girl, an evil, and the Biltmore Estate c. 1900, is set for stardom.  Read about the book.

Vance the debater

"You show a regional bias," Kansas Sen. Preston Plum (pictured) told N.C. Sen. Zeb Vance when Zeb was zinging proponents of a tariff bill that favored Northern industrialists and hurt the South.  Read about it.

Finding a great book a new way

Bestseller lists; book reviews; publisher promos; readers' votes--are you missing great books with these access methods?  Here's another approach. Read the feature.

Big wave to save Saluda depot

Saluda train depot, built 1903, at the crest of the steepest mainline standard gauge railroad in the U.S. is getting saving attention.  Read more.

NPR's Inskeep brings Jacksonland

Steve Inskeep's book looks at Andrew Jackson, John Ross, and Cherokee and American history.  Read about it.

Alli Marshall's rockstar novel

In her debut novel, "How to Talk to Rockstars," Alli Marshall, arts editor for “Mountain Xpress,” turns her experience as a music reviewer into the exposed story of Bryn Thompson, a reviewer for whom relationships fail, but music prevails.  Read about it.

Once upon a stage: Thunderland

In 1952, a great writer and composer collaborated to produce a Daniel Boone drama to be produced in an outdoor theater in Arden.  Read about it.

Writers on the Rock

10 authors present their work at Chimney Rock Park gathering, Sun., June 28.  Read about it.

Ron Rash event

Ron Rash reads from his newest short story collection, "Something Rich and Strange,” at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, 1 p.m., June 2.  Read book review and author interview.

Miss Julia's social comedy

Ann B. Ross' 16th Miss Julia novel is a comedy of manners as a comedy of errors in small-town, fictional Abbottsville.  Read review.  See about upcoming appearances

Brookhouse's Finn

If you are going to immerse yourself in a Deep South small town, in 1960, follow the lead of Chris Brookhouse in his new novel, “Finn,” which begins with a funeral procession....Brookhouse presents his novel at Captain's Bookshelf, 5:30. May 26.  Read review

Rebel Bushwhacker

Read about Wally Avett's new novel, Rebel Bushwhacker, and his March 27 Murphy appearance..

One week in June 1926

Golf, whiskey, crime, and a projected innocence characterized Asheville.  Read the history.

Monumental reflections on Pack Square

Talk about the Vance Monument and a corresponding African-American Heritage monument raises questions about the purposes monuments serve.  Read more.

Historic photo: baseball fans

A crowd gathered outside the Asheville Citizen building to follow the scoreboard during the 1923 World Series.   Read more.

Integration on gridiron

Integration at Asheville High School in 1969 may have best realized on the football field. Read about it.

World Made Straight film

You read the Ron Rash novel, now there's a movie.   Read about how one became the other.

Music legacy, Spruce Pine

There may be more music per household in the North Toe Valley than anywhere.  Read about Sunny Brook, the Carolina Barn Dance, and key figures.

Hogs on our mind

Story about how hogs shaped WNC culture refers to John Weaver, Robert Morgan, & Tipper Pressley.

13th Annual Spring Literary Festival @ WCU

The Festival, Apr. 13-16, features authors Andre Dubus III, Tracy K. Smith, Rebecca McClanahan, and more.

Joe Galloway keynotes Blue Ridge Bookfest

Galloway's We Were Soldiers Once...and Young penetrates myths about La Drang and aftershocks. Read about him & his book; and about several other authors at BRBF, Apr. 24-25.

Dubus' Dirty Love

Andre Dubis III is feature speaker at WCU's Spring Lit Fest.  Read about his latestDirty Love, which pulls back facades on relationships that tend to go bad.  See Fest details.

Ellison on Kephart, 3.0

In the 3rd expanded edition of Our Southern Hjghlanders, George Ellison has written a 60-page intro that brings new insight to the legacy.  Read more.

Historic photo

Henry Westall, an exhibition aerialist, went from Bairds Bottom to Morganton, 1919. Read background story, see image.

Jamie Mason's deep thriller

Asheville author Jamie Mason's new novel, Monday's Lie has many levels and much wit.  Read review.

See All Hallows ghost walk

Lumbermen in WNC

The lumber tycoons who logged WNC woods around 1900 were giants in the capitalist mode; and the temporary crews they hired were rough.  Read story.

Notable Women

Jack Prather launches is book, Six Notable Women of N.C, March 28, with notable guests Jennifer Pharr Davis (pictured) and Kathryn Stripling Byer.  Read about it.

History obsessions, 2015

Here's a list of some of the history stories I'll be dwelling on in 2015--I think they'll interest you all very much--Rob

Gail Godwin on Publishing

The acclaimed Asheville-raised author tells about her writing life and the changing world of publishing through a half century of stories.  Read about it.

Great Smokies Review

New issue of Great Smokies Review features Caralyn Davis, David Schulman, Cathy Argella, Tina Barr & others.  See website.

Clear-cutting Year One

What year did the clear-cutting of our forests begin?  What myths have been spread about mountain people?  Read the logging story.

George Ella Lyon

The Kentucky author talks about her life, work, and causes.  Read the interview.

Cats consume Fred Chappell

Fred Chappell publishes new book of poems in which cats command attention.  Read about it.

War vet bird artist

Michael Francis Reagan creates a fiction that stems from WNC mountains and contributes to war veterans' expressive efforts.  Read review.

Tunnel Road c. 1962

Read about Buck's, Wink's and  Babe Maloy's--the memories of an American Graffiti culture in Asheville come alive.  Read about it.

Scandalization of the News

All the Truth is Out, Matt Bai's new book about Gary Hart's downfall in 1987 via a sex scandal, is of great significance: it shows how good journalism went bad, and our society with it.  Read more.

Hall Bruce, machine-keeper

Growing up on a Madison County farm, Hall Bruce came to be a premiere collector of tobacco, blacksmithing, and other machinery.  Read his story.

Era of Party Spirits

Capt. Hoyt came to Candler in 1885, threw parties, and now, Honey Hill Inn and Engadine Cabins feels his spirit.  The photo is his daughter's "selfie."  Read more.

Riviere-Seel's intimacy

Pat Riviere-Seel's new book of poems, "Nothing Below but Air," is reviewed.  Also, see feature on Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, Sept. 5-6, Burnsville--28 authors and other notables! Read.

Writers on the Rock

10 authors grace Chimney Rock's 1st Writers on the Rock gathering, Sept. 7.  Read more.

Black Mountain time skip

Jerry Pope sends a hapless groom 2/3 of a century back in time in Black Mountain.  Read more.

Black Mountain College art

See show of the work of the late Dan Rice, Sept. 5; hear talks about his connection to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.  Learn more.

Bobby Hicks

The Thomas Wolfe House  features mountain music w/ living legend and other pickers, Sept. 13. Learn more

Carolina Mountains Lit Fest Sept. 5-6

The 10th Annual CMLF in Burnsville features Terry Roberts (pictured here, from Great Smokies Review--see article), Glenis Redmond, Joseph Bathanti, Tommy Hays, and many others.  Read more.

Spruce Pine & North Toe

Keep up with the story-filled saga of the Mitchell-Avery County region, from the stowaway William Wiseman, through the heritage-keeping Wisemans and Houstons, up to the present prospects..  Read Part 1 of a 4-part series.

Interview with a laureate

Joseph Bathanti, N.C. Poet Laureate talks about his new books.  Read story and interview.

The very poorest

Katherine Boo's prize-winning book about a Mumbai is reviewed and up for discussion.  Read more.

Ralph Burns retrospective

Asheville photographer Ralph Burns opened his retrospective show at the Asheville Art Museum, Mar. 29. Read about his work over three-plus decades,.

Singleton's singularity

George Singleton's latest story collection, Between Wrecks, presents unique upstate S.C. hero.  Read review.

Jeannette Walls here

Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, has new novel, The Silver Star.  See review with interview

South Buncombe toxic

A new documentary film, "My Toxic Backyard," reveals impact of CTS site on South Buncombe residents.  Read more and see trailer.

Poor place, caring people

Charles Dodd White's new novel cries for the country, finds great poetry, and heads toward a tragic climax, despite caring characters.  Read review.

Proctors of Swain

Moses Proctor settled Hazel Creek in 1830--the force of their family legacy is remarkable.  Read about it.

Francine Prose brings sympathy for a monster

Prose's latest goes to Paris before and during the German occupation; looks at a woman who became a German sympathizer and torturer.  Read review. See author interview.

Dancing on Rocks, new Chimney Rock novel

Rose Senehi's latest Blue Ridge novel focus on family, history, and intrigue in the touristed town of Chimney Rock.  See about new book.

Francine Prose brings sympathy for a monster

Prose's latest goes to Paris before and during the German occupation; looks at a woman who became a German sympathizer and torturer.  Read review.  See author interview.  Prose at Malaprop's, May 8.

Historic stickball game

In 1972, the "Huns"--a UNCA fraternity composed of Vietnam War vets--challenged the Cherokees from Big Cove.  Read what ensued.

Bulgarian authors bring renaissance

With support from the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, Virginia Zaharieva and Albena Stambolova have published startling novels. Read more.

Fiddler's story

Eva Wike's latest book is a celebration of her uncle and a history story about the fiddle in mountain life.

Read about it.

Black Mountain to Japan

Born 1916 in Black Mountain, Evelyn Cordell built a career that took her to Japan in 1945, managing the war crimes trials office; and meeting her husband, Dr. Bruno Romeo.  Read story.

Morgan's people, next generation 

Robert Morgan takes the Richards family and their community to Green River and through the Depression and WWII.  Read review. 

Michael Parker's new novel

All I have in This World, Michael Parker's new novel, brings together a Venus Fly Trap farmer, a self-exiled Texas woman, a Buick, and several haunted owners of the Buick. See review.

Smokies lit

Immersing yourself in the deep recesses of our region’s literature has just become easier.  Read about new annotated bibliography of Great Smokies writing up through 1934.

New book of Vance papers

N.C. Publications has issue Vol. 3 of Zebulon Vance's papers, covering 1864-5.  Learn more.


The latest issue of the Asheville Poetry Review contains its reliable mix of Vets and still-wets; interviews, reviews, and news that stays news.  Read about it.

Almost under water town 

Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot, has a new novel, Long Man, that takes place inan  East Tennessee town under threat of a dam.  Read about it.

Authors honor Wolfe

12 great NC authors helped fund new rockers on the Wolfe house porch.  Read about the project and the Wolfe passages that have influenced them; and see photos by Henry Neufeld.  Link here.

1920s Asheville--a Golden Age?

The decade of the 1920s in this region was many things. See a selective, narrative chronology.

Andrea Barrett's new fiction

Biological insights put lives in perspective in stories keying on scientific revolutions.  Read review & interview.  She was was long-time Warren Wilson College MFA instructor.

Word & music benefit for homeless

Ron Rash, Keith Flynn, Patricia Smith and others were at Diana Wortham, Nov. 17, in benefit performance for community of the beloved, this area's homeless and disenfranchised.  See what.

Wiley Cash presents

Wiley Cash comes to WNC, Jan. 28, Jan. 31, Feb. 1 with nerw novel.  The WNC Historical Association gives him Thomas Wolfe Award.

Read about book and talks.

Black Mountain College lives on 

New publications by Lorimer Press, funded by Lenoir-Rhyne Univ., honors Black Mountain College legacy with writers and artists contributing today. Read about the books & other new books.

Southern Gothic on the Erie

James Scott, whose debut novel, "The Kept," brings Southern Gothic intensity to upstate NY, comes to Malaprop's, Jan. 28.  Read about his book..

F 451 staged 

Ray Bradbury's 1951 novel, "Fahrenheit 451" is hot--as a prediction and as a work of literature--and as great theater in traveling production at DWT jan. 31.  Read about controversies, discussion, spectacle.

The Forrest Jarrett story

Before the illustrious railroad career, there was his upbringing in Rector's Corner, Madison County.  Read more.

Renea's Appalachia

WNC native Renea Winchester talks about how she's gone the e-route with her new book, Mountain Memories: True Stories and Half Truths from Appalachia; and gives samples.  Read about it.

Charles Fletcher 

At 91, Charles Fletcher has published his 7th book, including third novel about Little Sam Mountain in Haywood County.  Read more.

Did Satanic hysteria put man in prison?

Michael Parker has been in prison 19 years, due to a case that involved the nationwide hysteria over Satanic Ritual Abuse.  An appeal is in process.  Read about what happened in Saluda.

100-year native

Ruthie Greene Houston, born 1914 in Avery County, has stories to tell--and a message about a humane society--and a cause.  Read here.

Gary Carter story

"Realized this morning for some odd reason or another that it had been roughly thirty-four years since I blew out of Nam after two tours..."  Read more.

Saving bonobos

Sally Jewell Coxe, who grew up in Asheville, now leads effort to save the most peaceful primate.  Read big feature, see video.

Ann Patchett's new book

Author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder has new book, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, essays. Read review and interview with author.  (Photo by Heidi Ross)

Historic neighborhood

A building project in Chestnut Hill raises awareness about how historic preservation builds community.  Read story about the neighborhood, the clashing project--up for a vote by the city, Dec. 10--and preservation history.  

Fred Chappell

to be awarded the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award at a reception and presentation ceremony by the WNC Historical Association, Nov. 24. See review of recent book. See past winners of award

Fairview agri-vanguard

From the McClure dream 100 years ago to the 4th generation's agricultural leadership, the Hickory Nut Gap story evolves.  Read story.

Jennifer McLean stories

"It was natural for Jennifer McLean to write a book on the subject of folly as she is eminently qualified." So says her website. Her new book of stories, Small Brown Bird, was reviewed in WNC Woman.

Literature of Madison

Celebrate and learn about Madison County's literary traditions by reading this survey.  See about event, Oct. 25 & 26.

Pickett's Charge

is a new Civil War madcap epic by Charles McNair. McNair website.

John Dickson

has been making memorable b&w photos of WNC landscapes for many years (Big East Fork, l.). He joins painter Peggy N. Root, and potters Josh Copus and Marlene Jack in an exhibition at Blue Spiral, with an Oct. 10 opening. Visit Dickson's website.

George Stuart, Maya expert

See feature about Barnardsville expert

Haunting murder

The murder of VISTA worker Nancy Miorgan in Madison County in 1970 was never solved; Mark Pinsky investigates it in his new true crime book.  Read story.

Latest from 3: Amberg, Owens, McIlvoy

Lee Smith's Zelda novel

Lee Smith's novel, Guests on Earth, resides in Highland Hospital, Asheville, 1937-1948.  It looks into Zelda Fitzgerald and the famous fire.  Even more notably, the book is a cry of love for misfits.  Read review.  

Robert Henry revealed

Rick Russell's new biography.  Read story.

Tommy Hays, Oct. 20

Author's novel about two Asheville families. Review.  Interview.

McCrumb's native heroism

Sharyn McCrumb''s latest novel tells a Revolutionary War story through the voices of John Sevier and a camp follower.  Read review.

Rural Life Museum Day

Grand re--opening celebration,. Sept. 28 at Mars Hill U. includes major exhibit, music, and reception.  Learn more.

Carden releases bestiary

Author and storyteller Gary Carden debuts his Appalachian Bestiary at City Lights, 1::30 p.,m., Sun., Sept 1.  Read about the new book.

Stories from Southside

Southside, an African American community in Asheville, was a vital place with many homes and businesses before it was urban renewed in the early 70s.  Read "Southside Stories."  Read the feature about the Southside remapping project.

Take WNC hurricane quiz

based on newly released 4th ed. of North Carolina's Hurricane History by Jay Barnes.  Check it out.

Marcus Thomas, from paralysis to painter

Marcus C. Thomas, Weaverville painter, and Leslee Johnson, writer, have collaborated to produce a 25-year retrospective of the man who'd been paralyzed in a skiing accident in 1986.  They present the book at Battery Part Book Exchange, Aug. 27.  Read the remarkable story.

The drive-in era

Asheville teens in late 1950s were drawn to Tunnel Road's drive-ins.  Read the memories.

Fred Bahnson

Leading permaculturalist, Fred Bahnson, presents his book at Malaprop's, Aug. 14, making the connection between farming, spirituality, and community. Read about book.

1793 in WNC

Which stories offer us the best entrances into this region in the year 1793?  Read and weigh in.

Scots legacies

From folk tales to killing years, how has Scots experience been passed to Western North Carolinians.  Read story.

Not Just about North Korea

The North Korea that Adam Johnson portrays in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is an extreme form of repression.  Why this book is a must-discuss.

Charles Price: new book

The most deadly killing spree in Wild West history is the subject of Burnsville novelist's humanistic work of history, Season of Terror.  Read review and insightful author interview.  He's at Malaprop's Sun, July 21.

Bobby Hicks' 80th birthday concert

The legendary fiddler performed in a free concert in Marshall, July 21.  Read about him and it.

The Asheville water controversy: What are the facts?  Read Q&A.

Hosseini's latest

"Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini creates a novel of worldwide compassion in "And the Mountains Echoed."   Read review.

Andrew Solomon at Autism Pride Week

Andrew Solomon has written "Far from the Tree," a landmark book in understanding a range of non-mainstream people.  Read story and interview.

Don Talley starts Swannannoa Valley page

Read about use of social media--i.e., Facebook page--to post lots of Black Mountain history--e.g., 1958 Owen High majorettes.

Disclafani's Blowing Rock novel

Anton Disclafani presents her heralded debut novel, "The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls," @ Malaprop's, June 7.  See review.

Marshall depot saved for music

Linda Jarrett called her son, Forrest, about the threat to the depot; and a community music tradition started.  Read story.

History detective finds Sondley ring

The ring that 30-year old Foster Sondley, renowned for his lifework, Buncombe's history, was found by Mark Ellis-Bennett.  Read his story and more.

Mountain woman; soldier boys

M.A. Hancock's "Four Brothers in Grey."  story of four Wilkes boys in the Civil War; Celia Miles' "Sarranda's Heart," novel of woman after the war.  See new WNC books.

BookWorks broadside

The Vandercook letterpress at BookWorks is geared up for your poetry printings and a poet event, June 1.  Read more.

Contemporary Appalachian anthology

Appalachian Gateway: An Anthology of Contemporary Stories and Poetry, new book from U of T Press, features work of 25 fiction writers and poets; and illuminating biographical sketches and bibliographies for each author.

Swannanoa Cemetery Tour

Swannanoa Valley Museum engages 3 experts to tour old cemeteries, May 25. See more about cemeteries, too.

Flora by Gail Godwin

Gail Godwin's 14th novel is getting raves everywhere.  Read feature story and interview.

“A History of Burnsville” at Parkway Playhouse

Parkway Playhouse theatre opens its 2013 season on May 4 with “A History of Burnsville,” an informative and comic journey through the past of a WNC town. 

The legend of George Masa grows

More information about George Masa, Japanese photographer in Asheville, 1915-1933, keeps emerging.  Read more.

Jill McCorkle novel

Short story master's first novel in 17 years is moving, important, compelling.   Read review.

Wayne Caldwell honored

The author of "Cataloochee" and "Requiem of Fire" won a prestigious prize.  See what; consider his work.

Wiley Cash book, interview, talk

Author of "A Land More Kind Than Home," is keynoter at Blue Ridge Bookfest, which features workshops, talks, many authors, May 17-18,  Read interview.  More about Bookfest. 

Grapes of Wrath at ACT

The production of Frank Galati's script inspires a look at and discussion of the humanity of Steinbeck's novel  Read feature.  (Photo by Micah Mackenzie)

Author feature: Betty Cloer Wallace

The 24th of a 25-volume Tuckaseegee pre-Revolution saga is out; read what it portends.

Dale Neal: the book & interview

Read about  Dale Neal's new regionally set novel; and his talk about his roots, style, and sense of history.

"Why civil wars?"--a 1792 question

Read dramatization of Asheville meeting and talk of State of Franklin.

Author feature: MariJo Moore

Read about MariJo's 14th book; and catch up on her active career.

The State v. Our Culture 

Read about what's being planned to cut the humanities and heritage sites.

Pulitzer winning poet re: his dyslexia

at Apr. 3 event

Singing in Lufty Baptist Church

Tipper features, on her website, Blind Pig and the Acorn, her trips to churches in the Great Smokies Park. Hear and see the beautiful singing she brings to one.

Worldwide hive

Read about Keith Flynn's ambitious new book of poems.

1792--Did they meet in a tavern?

Read the story about the men who met to decide where the region's first courthouse was to go.

Ron Rash's new tales

Danny hikes and tells

See about hiker/author Danny Bernstein's latest  book.

Duncan's writing taps a deep local pool

Read about new poetry book and interview. 

Asheville Poetry Review

Read about the new issue, its poems, reviews, essays, and prizes; its feature on Sam Hamill; and a poem by Catherine Carter about how the young need us.

"It was the first photo I found in the Eliada archives, and it ignited the fire that fueled my need to tell the story of this orphanage." 

See the full photo and read Cliff David's story.

Murder at Noland Gap video

See the video of the trip to Noland Gap, where the Haywood County sheriff was murdered in 1862.   Click on photo.  Read story.

Alan Michael Parker@ASU

App State opens its Spring Visiting Writers' Series with poet/fiction writer Alan Michael Parker, Feb. 28.  Image from ASU flyer. See website.

Tales of GPI published; Arts & Crafts show now

National Arts & Crafts Conference--Feb. 22-24.  Bruce Johnson tells great tales in new book.  Read.

Beacon Blankets documentary in progress

Serpent Child, a veteran Black Mountain theater and media production company, is turning the history of the Black Mountain manufacturer and village-builder into a film.  Read more.

Bell's Traditionals trail-blazed 1960s Biltmore Village

Bill Bell, founder of Bell's Traditionals. and Jody Anderson talk about the clothing business that started retail success in the village during its slumbering period. Read story and see video.

Progress made on Nina Simone birthplace in Tryon

Nina Simone, legendary musician and activist, born and raised in Tryon, is subject of much loving attention, including recent home preservation effort.

Blue Ridge Commons wins Wolfe Award

Kathy Newfont's book on forest commons history has won the 2013 Thomas Wolfe Award.

Rob Amberg photos

See photographer Rob Amberg's photos and documentary text on his blog.

How do we name?

Dr. Donna Lillian of ASU, new president of the American Name Society, looks at "Sandy"; "Ms.," "Gangman," "Malaga," and more.  Read article.

Campus read @ ASU

"American Dervish," a coming-of-age story about a Muslim-American boy by Ayad Akhtar, has been selected as Appalachian State University’s summer reading novel for 2013.

Ghost of servant seeks mate

The early residents led a kind of Downton Abbey life, and their servants identified with their houses so much, they hung around a very long time.  Read the story.

Combined best books lists, 2012

See compiled list of best books from many sources, including local suggestions.

Civil War letters

Cliff Davids' Eliada oral history reveals family letters from Union soldier.

How does Asheville ornament?
See the survey article on ornament in Asheville architecture.

Charles Price ventures out

Acclaimed writer of historical fiction set in WNC published a western, story that explores John Wesley Hardin's mind. See review and interview.

2nd Amendment justification calls for history

A movie reenactment of The Battle of Athens (Tenn.) on YouTube has arisen as a justification for armed militias. Read about it and the history of armed citizens in WNC.

Fire in the Ashes by Jonathan Kozol

is his review of 25 years working with and writing about America's poorest children. Read about the prize-winning author's book, and see who voices concerns of the poor in WNC.

Dean Bakopoulus talks on horror

He's one of many writers and WWC MFA instructors doing public readings this coming week. See calendar. See author website.

Paul Reid rounds out Winston

Tryon author Paul Reid completes the late William Manchester's Winston Churchill trilogy.  Reid's at Malaprop's Jan. 5.  Read interview.

Alexander Cameron, Cherokee friend

Read about British agent who kept peace on frontier, and fought with Dragging Canoe; and read about new book.

Great Smokies Writing mag fall issue

See UNCA's Great Smokies Writing Program lit mag. Photo of North Cornwall accompanies editor Elizabeth Luyten's lead piece. Contributors Cathy Vance Agrella, Terry Gess, and LJ Faulkner read from their works at Malaprop'sOct. 21.

Jewish-Muslim peace

Hendersonville Palestinian Lina Adas has translated Bahia Abrams' novel, The Other Half of My Soul into Arabic.  Read about their lives, missions, and events.

A remarkable memoir: from fundamentalism to free thinking

Virginia Redfield has written an accomplished memoir that looks back at her Depression Era childhood.  Read about it.

Barbara Kingsolver--new novel; local date

She's at UNCA, Nov. 28.  Read interview and more.

Luke Hankins intros

devotional poems by today's poets, included in new book, Dec. 9

See Luke Hankins page to read more

N.C. Lit and History Conference

The Annual Meeting of the N.C. Literary and Historical Association takes place in Asheville on November 15-16.  See about keynote speakers, free public programs

Experts on race, Wolfe, and the Harris incident

"Child by Tiger," the story by Thomas Wolfe based on Will Harris' murderous rampage in 1906, is the focus of a talk on race and Wolfe by Darin Waters and Joanne Mauldin.  Read about story & events.

Russell Banks

Acclaimed novelist Russell Banks speaks at Warren Wilson College, Nov. 17.  Read more.

Memories of old Biltmore Village

After Vanderbilt, before the commercial renaissance, there was a close-knit village of residents and merchants.  Read about it.

David Madden's new novel.

He's at Malaprop's Nov. 10.  Read review and interview.

New books by authors of this region

More books; fewer reviews--how do we support authors of this region?  Susan Snowden publishes Southern Fried Lies; Jack Brody, The Moroni Deception.  Read up and weigh in.

Gary Carden

Award-winner at 2 events.  Read about great honor and appearances.  

Terrell Garren on Cherokees in Civil War

Read leading historian's presentation to NC UDC.

Outcasts United author in area

Warren St. John comes to Mars Hill College, Oct. 15, to talk about his book about the refugees' soccer team in Georgia.  Read review and interview; and about event.

Pretty Polly conveys ancient message

Read how the Pretty Polly ballad and its English antecedent, Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight had developed a 2,000 year-old story.

Kathryn Stripling Byer, Maya Angelou & John Lawson in Hall of Fame

The N.C. Literary Hall of Fame inducts 3 authors, Oct. 14.  .Read about event; and see list of all inductees.

Major event: Robert Youngdeer

The Museum of the Cherokee issues the memoirs of a notable figure.  Oct. 5book launch in Cherokee.

Read about it.

John Hart brings thriller to Asheville

John Hart, author of The Last Child, sets his new thriller in these mountains, and speaks at UNCA, Oct. 5.  Read about the extreme survival psychology in his novel, Iron House.

(Listen to first chapter.)

O. Henry stamp gets it partly wrong

The USPS issued an O. Henry stamp on Sept. 11, 2012, his 150th birthday anniversary, associating him with New York.  Read about his Tarheel roots and heart.

Terry Roberts goes inside Hot Springs POW camp

Read book review, and see about Sept. 20 and Sept. 29 events.

Katherine Soniat's new book of poems

Author at City Lights eventSept. 20.  See author website.


Annette Clapsaddle and Dawn Gilchrist-Young of Swain County reveal novels, Aug. 28.

Two Nobel Prize-winners

Read review of Elie Wiesel's new novel, Hostage; and Toni Morrison's, Home.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

Amy Goodman comes to Asheville and Burnsville to talk about The Silenced Majority, her book of urgent articles.  Read review, and about appearances.

Disastrous floods in WNC

Read the story about 13 disastrous floods in WNC from the 17th to the present century.

Hatfield-McCoy feud--it's personal

Read about Lisa Alther's non-fiction exploration of history, family, and stereotypes

Why the Nikwasi mound is inviolable

Read the story about the Cherokee mound in Franklin, recently sprayed with herbicide by the town.

Ingalls of Banner Elk publishes 4 new titles

Read about Casey's Calbough's novel, and see what else is going on.

12 WNC Notables @ Grateful Steps

Read about Jack Prather's book; Aug. 4 event; and the publisher, Grateful Steps.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games through the weekend

See website.  See videos.

Send the boy to Thunder

In Cherokee lore, boys were initiated into manhood through ball play in Thunder's field. Read about it.

Nancy Dillingham's Americana Rural, poems & stories. Read about.

New Mitchell County history

The county has engaged Elizabeth Hunter and a committee to produce the 150th anniversary book. Read about it.

Mark de Castrique today at 3

Author of Sam Blackman's Coffin is at Malaprop's, July 7,   for new novel, The 13th Target.   See about event.  See author's promotional video for book..

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Signs of greatness: read. Book discussion, July 12.

Peggy Millin

Read aboutAsheville author and workshop leader, whose trip to a Virgin Mary site in Medjugorje, Bosnia in 1989 has led to "Mary's Way."

Cherokee prehistory--survey of digs

Read the storysee links.

Nina Simone Legacy grows

Read about the Tryon-born musical and civil rights icon.

Gloria Houston, Ruthie, & essayists

graced Macon County's 5th Annual Literacy Night and Read 2 Me program.  Read about the landmark events and the essay-writing winners.

What if Lincoln lived?

Author David Madden gives talk; exhibit comes to Haywood.  Read more.

Wolfe Award: past & future

Deadline for nominations for WNCHA's annual literary honor is July 15.

See who won 1955-2011.  

George Ellison comes full circle

Read about his new book of poems, with Elizabeth Ellison's artwork.  Ellisons are at Malaprop's July 13.

Wood carving got good things going, 1901

Read aboutEleanor Vance's Boys' Club and Biltmore Industries

The Chautauqua, June 18-21

Scholar-actors bring Carl Jung, Golda Meir, Denmark Vesey, and Winston Churchill to evening shows at A-B Tech.  Read about it.

Carden's Kephart play & WNC playwrights

Read about Outlander, Parkway Playhouse, and the drama scene.

Bruce Johnson branches out in blog

Read Little Journeys; see Arts and Crafts features.

 Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group names Indie winners.
 See who.

nominationsfor best Southern books of year

NPR's Summer 2012 Reading List

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes 2012 announced

Luminarium by Alex Shakar for ficion;
 see more.

Regionalisms in 5 volumes

The five-volume set of Dictionary of American Regional English is now complete.
Read about it and see fun & games.

Geraldine Brooks' Caleb's Crossing

Read review..

Graphic novel milestone--editor in town

Read about Graphic Canon, V. 1; and Russel Kick at Malaprop's, June 6.

Dave Turner

See Dave Turner's book, Billy Ray's Chevrolet And Other Writings And Photographs From A Southern Appalachian Valley--namely the Riceville and Bull Creek area--Now on e-book.

Go-to guy Fred Seely made ENKA happen

Read storyabout the way business worked in the 1920s.

1980s movement stopped clearcutting

Read about the popular campaign and about Kathryn Newfont's book,
Blue Ridge Commons,

See aboutCivil War images exhbit at Fontana Library

Who won IPPY Awards? See here.

Wiley Cash, UNCA grad, presents debut novel

He's at City Lights, 7 p.m.,
May 18; Malaprop's, 4 p.m.,
May 19.
Read review.

Interview with Elizabeth Kostova.

See aboutMay 18 author show and Blue Riudge Bookfest..

Liar's Bench, May 17, 7 p.m., WCU, features tribute to Cherokee chief

Read more

Kathryn Stripling Byer enters NC Literary Hall of Fame

along with Maya Angelou and John Lawson. Read
NC Arts news.

Jargon Society, landmark publisher, now part of Black Mountain College museum.

Julia Alvarez's memoir of empathy

Read aboutAlgonquin Books author's novel-like account of getting to know Hispaniola's underclass.

27 Views of Asheville book of authors

Godwin, Frazier, McCrumb, Caldwell and others.
Read more.

Marijo Moore, Carol MacAllister, Scott Owens

Moore's next date is
May 5.

MacAllisterwon YA award.

See author features below for Owens.

Asheville Wordfest May 2 - 6; Hicks family tale-tellers, May 5

See Wordfest websitefor schedule of poets and tellers.

New book includes shocking Asheville tale

Read about the manhuntfor Broadus Miller, an Asheville black man during a period of racial hysteria.

Rash's new novel: The Cove

Read review of dark, poetic masterpiece--and see events schedule. See criticism of NY Timesreview.

What's the true story of Lover's Leap ghost? Read here.

Civil War sterographs from Atlantic

This photo of the Army of the Potomac and many more are on The Atlantic magazine website.

Nancy Dew Taylor wins award

Poet wins NCHC's Linda Flowers Literary Award for "Mill Creek Suite." Read more.

Bancroft Prize winners named

History prize shared this year by Anne Hyde's Empires, Nations and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860; Daniel Rodgers' Age of Fracture; and Tomiko Brown-Nagin's Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement. Read more.

See author Jenny Bennett's novel; & photos

on her member webpage.

Rose McLarney has new book of poems

WNC-raised, award-winning poet and Warren Wilson College teacher publishes The Always Broken Plates of Mountains.   See more.

Nina Simone biographer at Pack

Nadine Cohodas, author of Princess Noire, at Pack Library, Mar. 28. Read more.

Liars Bench presents hangman's tales, Apr. 15

Read more.

Mallory McDuff on environmentalism & churches

See authorof Sacred Acts at All Souls program, Apr. 26.

Naked Came the Leaf Peeper launch

Serial mystery novel set in Asheville with chapters written by 13 local masters launches Mar. 30, UNCA. Read review & learn more.

Death of a Salesman phenomenon

The New York Times kicks off a community discussion of "Death of a Salesman" with online bonuses. See more.

Walter Dean Myers named Children's Lit Ambassador

L of C's Center for Book announces news.

Writers for Friends of Smokies Apr. 5

Read about program.

Best plan for authors? Book fests.

Read Bill Ramsey's opinion piece; join the discussion.

See feature authors at Blue Ridge Bookfest

Protecting the Forest

Kathy Newfont w book about wild commons at Malaprop's Apr. 30.   See about event.

Urgent letter from Scott Turow: Amazon v. publishers

Read the letter.

Nick Flynn, Suck City & Bomb Ticking

Acclaimed author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City; and The Ticking Is the Bomb, is at WCU, Mar. 22. Read feature.

Ron Rash in author show, Mar. 20; his career seen through his poetry

Read more. He keynotes WCU Spring Fest, Mar. 20.

Local boys fought at Seven Pines

The first battle for Richmond in 1862 took place in a swamp (now the Richmond International Airport).

Read more.

Old Time Music Week

Registration has opened for Mars Hill College’s 21st annual Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week, June 3 – 9. Read story.

Stephanie Powell Watts debut story collection

Author from Lenoir presents stories of area's poor. Read about it.

Best of the Year: Kirkus' top fiction; PW's top ten; Amazon's top 20; NY Times top illustrated children's books

Eugenides, Patchett--who else?

Balsam Chronicles show by Carden

Gary Carden begins his telling of "Balsam Chronicles" in Mountain Heritage Center, WCU, Mar. 15, beginning with "Cashiers." Read about event.

Go to Carden's page.

ASU picks Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer for Fall 2012 freshman read

Keith Flynn recommends books and salutes James Dickey on his active blog  

Author Bruce Wheeler talks about history of Knoxville--see video  

Jim Casada is turkey-hunting legend; see limited edition

Today's woman artists

Eleanor Heartney, noted art historian at WCU, Mar. 5; Black Mtn College Museum + Art Ctr, Mar. 6. More.

John Inscoe, history scholar

Author of many books gives key talk, Mar. 24. Read about event. See U. of Ga. article.

Karen Russell's imagination

The 30-year-old author's second book, a novel sensation titled Swamplandia!,is the focus of a program.  Read review.

Sandra Cisneros in Asheville

Author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo; and advocate for oppressed voices is at UNCA, Mar. 2.  Read the story& learn more.

Firestorm--top 10 cool cafe pick, says Zagat         

Carrie Wagner's bridge to Uganda

Carrie continues her global citizenship work with a photo show & a performance by Kinobe, top Ugandan musician, Mar. 1, A-B Tech.  Event cancelled; photos still on show.  Read about Global Citizenship.

Forrest Jarrett stories

Read about the railroad pistol-toter from Madison County.

Review of Hopping stories

Read about Michael Hopping's masterful debut story collection, MacTiernan's Bottle.  Read Bill Branyon's review.  See Hopping's member page.

Tipper's new book

Blind Pig & Acorn creator publishes Appalachia through  My Eyes.

25th Arts & Crafts conference, Feb. 17-19

See week of events.  Read story: Who designed the GPI?

Lisa Alther serves up 6th novel

Alther, author of Kinflicks, reads from her new novel, Washed in the Blood, at Malaprop's, Feb. 24.  Read about it.

Natasha Trethewey in town

At UNCA, Feb. 23--read more See poet's website.

YA Authors write about , local school focus on bullying

Read the story.

State legislature push to control Asheville's water

1st public hearing , Raleigh, Jan. 23--televised (click NCLeg.Net at 2 p.m.).   Hearing in Asheville, late February.  Learn more at Save Asheville's Water.  See Citizen-Times article.

New poem by Julia Nunnally Duncan

Read "The Woods Watched Us" on WNC Woman.

David Madden's novel-writing workshop

Read aboutauthor's 1-week retreat, Feb. 20-25; and about his advice on revising fiction.

See video: A Madden fave--The Waveby Evelyn Scott.

Marijo Moore offers spiritual wisdom

About our time of change: "Not only is there fear coming from the falling of the masculine energies, there is also fear rising as the feminine energies rise."  Read her blog.

News items

Spellbound Children's Bookshop moves to 21 Battery Park, Feb. 1   ||  Asheville Wordfest gets $7G from NCHC   ||   NCWN Creative Non-fiction contest   ||   Read about William Matthews Poetry Prize   ||    Algonquin will publish YA and middle-grade books in 2012.

Julian Barnes wins Booker Prize

with The Sense of an Ending.  Read news.  Read about his works

German Book prize

Eugen Ruge won 2011 German Book Prize for his debut novel, In Times of Fading Light. Read more.

Survey of WNC Lit--beginnings to right now

Read all 3 parts.

Eleanor Ross Taylor

Lauded N.C.-born poet has died at age 91.  Thanks to Kay Byer on Asheville Poetry Review page for alerting us.  Read article in Charlotte Observer.

It's here!  A video of  Barbara Bates Smith,

"Ivy Rowe" and other shows.

Rose Senehi's Fairview novel

Read review.  See more new books.

New anthology of 20-year Lenoir-Rhyne visiting writers

Read about it.

Jan. 15, 2 p.m.-- Liar's Bench on WMYA

See station listings. Read on Gary Carden's blog.

How dialect usage works

Zoom in on Chap. 8 of Lady Chatterley's Lover

Scott Nicholson, local supernatural thriller writer

Dec. 21 at City Lights.  Read about his books.

Foundation of Davidson sawmill

Read about the 1790s Bee Tree community-builder Help recreate world of water-powered gristmills.

"Historical book structures"

Exhibition of artists' books based on study of history at BookWorks, Jan. 17.

Free Speech alert

Norton is publishing Ali H. Soufan's CIA memoir with CIA cuts.  Read more.

John Lane has two new books

Read review.

Urban News, voice of multicultural community

Read about publisher Johnnie Grant; her newspaper, Urban News; and experience of urban renewal in Asheville.

Keith Flynn & Holy Men on CD


New books about Transylvania

Read about Peggy Hansen's Transylvania Memories; Betty Jamerson Reed's School Segregation in WNC; and more.  See Dawn MCall's work.

J.C. Walkup talks about Fresh,

WNC literary magazine  See video.

Scott Douglass  about Home for Wayward ClocksVideo.

St. Genevieve's old Auditorium building is threatened

Read history.  See video.

Vote for Jennifer Pharr Davis, AT record-setter

She hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days by hiking 16 hours a day.  Now she's up for Natioinal Geographic's "Adventurer of the  Year" award.  Vote for her.  Her website.

Where do you dream?

is the theme of the new Fall 2011 issue of the online journal, The Great Smokies Review.

WNC Union Soldiers? Only at end

Read Terrell Garren's exchange with descendent.

Member feature: Gary Carden

Sylva author and storyteller has a lot going on.  Read about The Liar's Bench, a stotytelling show.  See Carden's blog; his member page.

See video of mountain panel

Charles Frazier, Wayne Caldwell, John Lane, George Ellison, Keith Flynn at Every Breath Sings Mountainslaunch.

Morgan expands west with great book

Robert Morgan's new book reveals Westward Expansion through 10 figures.  Read review.  Morgan's at Malaprop's and at Fountainhead Bookstore Oct. 29.

Connie Willis wins Hugo for best sci-fi novel
Willis won for Blackout/ All ClearSee list of winners and finalists..

New York Times reveals Amazon rave review scam
See article.



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